I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken

Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
-Bertrand Russell

What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell

February 28, 2013 - 6:04 p.m.

Kooped Up

I forgot to update! I had a splitting sinus headache between classes and couldn't write then. I manage to finish my grading and enter the grades but then had to try and take a nap. Despite the pain I succeeded. I put my feet up on a chair and closed my eyes. Luckily there was no one I the office most of the time. I slept for an hour and a half or so.

I was very good the last few days. I came to school and wrote a practice test for my finite math test then graded more than half my pre-calculus test and despite a sinus headache and Crohn's attack I almost finished last night. I grade everyone that correctly did the test in order so I could do it one question, not one test at a time. One student did them at random and I graded hers today.

As I expected the class did awful, the median was a 47. That's not a record low but it's close. As is usually the case in classes that did poorly it's a combination of them being ill-prepared in the prerequisites and not doing enough work this semester. Those things aren't independent. Students get discouraged because they don't know what they are expected to know so they have great difficulty with the new material. I say, "this is simple just solve the quadratic by factoring." It is simple if you know how to solve a quadratic by factoring. I blame the people that let them pass courses and advance to higher ones without mastering the basic skills. It has taught them that they don't really need to learn things.

C. Everett Koop died and that needs to recognized here. I hope all My Gentle Readers know who he is. He was the greatest Surgeon General this country every had and simply a great man. I say this despite the fact that he had views on abortion and homosexuality that I abhor. But I can forgive him because he knew the difference between an opinion and a fact and never let his opinions get in the way of the facts. When AIDS hit he worked hard to put it on the Reagan administration's agenda. He succeeded. He horrified conservatives with less integrity by sending out educational pamphlets that while saying that abstinence was the best protection that condoms should be used when having sex. You know, the truth. That shouldn't be a big deal but it is. It's a huge deal. There were forces in the Republican Party that tried to muzzle him and even oust him then but they didn't succeed and Reagan has to be given credit for that. In today's Republican party he would have never survived.

He was truly pro-life, not just anti-abortion. He went into pediatric surgery because that's where the need was. He was an innovator and saved lives that way. When he became surgeon general he crusaded against smoking. He fought powerful special interests to do so. He made powerful enemies. In doing so he saved lives. Despite being fiercely against abortion he wouldn't issue a report saying that abortion was harmful to a woman's health for the simple reason that it wasn't. It wasn't the answer he wanted to hear but it was the truth and that's what mattered to him.

One of my favorite scenes in I Claudius was Augustus near the end of his life talking to Claudius. He said, "Your brother Germanicus said you are loyal to three things, your friends, Rome, and the truth. That's the kind of thing I'd like for someone to say about me." Substitute America for Rome and you can say it about Dr. Koop. Can you even name another Surgeon General? Do you know the current one? Is he or she crusading for or against anything?

I don't often get to sing the praises of a Republican and a conservative and I don't want to miss the chance. If his like controlled the party now we'd be in a lot better shape.

Now Im going to head south to see Molly Venter and Eben Pariser. It's the CD release party for Goodnight Moonshine.





Annoying People - September 03, 2016
This Play Was The Pits - September 02, 2016
Banking on Getting Better or Avoiding Katastrophe. - September 01, 2016
Unlike Gilligan I Got Off the Island - August 31, 2016
Call of the Wilder - August 30, 2016




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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. Horvendile February 28, 2013
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